A Travellerspoint blog

Day 5 - Barcelona to Rome

Today has been a travel day so we packed up our digs in Barcelona and came to Roma (Italy not QLD!)

The top things from Barcelona according to Channe:

1. Paella
2. La Sagrada Familia
3. Getting lost (AKA taking the scenic route) finding our apartment on the first day
4. Gothic tour especially the royal palace
5. finding out that La Rambla was at the bottom of the garden not miles away !!!!

BUT still no hair ties!!!!!

It would be shallow for Jenny to say the giant G&T's ... but just saying!

So a short flight to Roma though we went to airport early thinking it was an international flight ...... but no it wasn't ... so no new stamps in our passports - ripped off!!!! Might need to make our own stamps.

Got picked up by limousine - a Mercedes no less - organised via a friend of a friend. We were supposed to meet up with a guide this arvo but she had other plans. So we spent some time after a late late lunch unpacking, washing and getting settled in to our new digs. We have another apartment in a complex that has a main front door then you come inside to the various individual apartments. Ours is on the entry level so no stairs this time! We have 2 bedrooms, a dining room, kitchen and bathroom so it is roomy.

There are about 5 restaurants in the nearby area and some humungous heap of ruins called the Colosseum just over the road.

Had a great meal at the café 2 doors up - we will be back! Channe got given postcards from the waiter

Tomorrow we will be doing some tours of Rome with a guide recommended by a friend.

We are here for 4 nights so will have lots of time to explore and check out the neighbourhood

Colosseum

Colosseum

Hostaria de Nerone

Hostaria de Nerone

The hair tie quest continues ........

Posted by JHarman 11:17 Archived in Italy Comments (0)

Day 4 - Last day in Barcelona

The theme for today is "sore legs" - we are paying for the descent from the Nativity Tower. To top it off we walked heaps today and went up and down even more steps!

First up we finally got to go on the walking tour of the Gothic district. We thought it went for an hour but that turned into two. Whilst we saw some things from around 'our' neighbourhood we also went into areas previously unexplored. The tour allowed us into areas closed off to the general public. One of the enlightening things was that where we are staying was outside the medieval walls in what was the Jewish Ghetto. This Ghetto was cleared out and gentrified after the medieval period. One of buildings was the palace of the Aragon family. All who know their English history will remember that Catherine of Aragon was the first wife of Henry VI and refused to divorce him. Henry's attempt to have the marriage annulled lead to his schism from the Catholic Church of the day and he not only set up the Anglican church but went on to have 5 more wives. Divorced, beheaded, died, divorced, beheaded, survived!!! The tale of the demise of the 6 wives!

After the tour we went back to a café Channe had spied whilst we were walking as we had agreed to have brunch after the walk. It was a super quaint with no tourists and lots of locals. Some yummy baguettes with chorizo for Channe and jamon for me.

After a small break we then headed off to Parc Guell. A personalised guided tour with just us two and guide provided a great introduction and then we could explore on our own. We got a great look at the Parc and heaps of information. Anna the guide was chuffed that we were the first Australians she had taken on a tour. Gaudi'd out we had a short break for a cool drink and then headed back to the city centre by cab. Along the way we heard the driver make a horrified noise bringing his hands to his face. Lo and behold a small car had just wiped out a bloke on a motorbike in front of us. No damage it seemed but proof that the crazy traffic with little evidence of rules or order does have its casualties.

Meson del Cafe

Meson del Cafe

Dragon waterfall

Dragon waterfall

View from Parc Guell

View from Parc Guell

Posted by JHarman 10:55 Comments (1)

Day 3 - La Sagrada Familia

What a day! All we can say is wow wow wow! We spent basically the whole day at La Sagrada Familia. We had tickets for entry, a guided tour and then a tower trip. What we didn't realise that once in the gates there was no getting out unless you had a ticket for a later entry you could not leave and just wander back in. So we went in at 9.30 am and did not leave until 4.30 pm ........ WITH NO FOOD !!!!! Luckily we had water and mentos to keep us alive! Well Channe was the Mentos Monster!

Before going in we waited on the street across the road and sussed out the souvenier stalls. Channe was able to take some selfies with her NEW selfie stick. Then we went across the road into the entry and explored by ourselves for some time. We went on a guided tour which was worth the wait with the guide giving interesting ancedotes and we found out that Guadi was killed just around the corner from where we are staying. After the tour we spent time watching the way the changing light outside was playing on the stained glass windows and changing the interior. The tour of the Tower of the Nativity. So up the tower in a lift and then we walked around the edge of the tower with panoramic views of the city. The descent was a little more arduous - what felt like 50000 steps in a winding fashion with views every few steps of either the city, other parts of the building, the construction work (have we mentioned it has been in construction phase for over 130 years) and the inside of the tower.

Basically we took about 100 photos but will only share a special selection by Channe.

Escaping from the complex we spied a pizza emporio across the road and indulged in the best pizza we have ever had. Nothing to do with the fact that it had been a long time since toast. It was a fight for the olives, tomatoes, bread with garlic butter - Channe won!

On the way back we found the shopping street that had been on Channe's wish list for days ... some new Ray Bans were purchased. So onwards walking in the general direction of our apartment and we realised that the shopping street called La Rambla was actually the cross street at the end of our main street. A mere 5 minutes walk away and we had gone to all sorts of getting off at the right bus stops yesterday to find it!!!

All in all a very good day.

PS. Spanish people do not wear hair ties ...... hence the flowing locks in the photos!

La Sagrada Familia Basilica

La Sagrada Familia Basilica

Selfies with the new selfie stick

Selfies with the new selfie stick

Guided tour

Guided tour

Ornate carving

Ornate carving

Light changing the color of the stained glass

Light changing the color of the stained glass

city view from Nativity tower

city view from Nativity tower

Channe in the Nativity Tower

Channe in the Nativity Tower

Posted by JHarman 09:06 Comments (0)

Day 2 - Barcelona

Today we started out to go on a walking tour of the Gothic area of the city only to find out it was a public holiday as it was the Day for the Working People - May 1st - Labour Day! So we were told to be prepared for demonstrations and disruptions with most shops not open. Instead of a guided walking tour we went on one by ourselves to find where the hop on hop off buses departed from. Along the way we came to the main cathedral called - La Catedral! The 9.00 am Mass was on so we only saw a part of it inside but went back later to 6.00 pm Mass and got a seat up the front and later we were able to take some photos. Also to hear the magnificent pipe organ which played the Hallelujah Chorus from Handel's Messiah. Magnificent!!!!

Back to this morning .... we got the bus and did the complete circuit seeing most of the inner city area. The loop took 2.5 hours and we then decided to go back to stop 3 which was the Acquarium. Lunch was first on the agenda then a tour of the Acquarium which even featured a Great Barrier Reef display. We saw feeding of the penguins and then went through the tunnel seeing sharks, massive fish, stingrays, eels and all manner of fishy things. Just before leaving we fed some fish from a small bottle.

Back on the bus and did the loop again but given the holiday traffic we were taken up some new streets and got to see different sites - or in the case of La Sagrada Familia. Got off the bus to got walking down a different shopping precinct but we found out all the shops would be closed so we walked back to the apartment following signs to the Cathedral. Down to our nearby shops to pick up some fruit etc then back to have a cold iced coffee - no cream or icecream just cold coffee with ice blocks in it! After a short break we went off to Mass.

Sun rises over La Catedral

Sun rises over La Catedral

Barcelona beach

Barcelona beach

Carrer del Bisbe

Carrer del Bisbe

Posted by JHarman 10:42 Comments (0)

We begin at last

1st of many planes

IMG_3749

IMG_3749

Channe prepares for takeoff!

Posted by JHarman 23:05 Archived in Australia Comments (0)

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